On this day, 8 June 1961, a group of Freedom Riders were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, including Kwame Ture, Gwendolyn Greene and Joan Mulholland (pictured, l-r). Freedom Riders fought government non-enforcement of the ban on segregation in public transport in the US South by riding in multiracial groups. They faced intense violence from local police and white supremacists, including the Ku Klux Klan, until eventually winning in December that year.

Ture (born Stokely Carmichael) became a central organiser in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and later the Black Panther Party. He was targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation, and “bad jacketed” – falsely painted as a CIA agent and expelled from the SNCC.

Greene (who later changed her name to Britt) had also been arrested in 1960 for refusing to leave the segregated Glen Echo Amusement Park in Maryland. With others, she confronted counter-protesters from the American Nazi Party and continued picketing until the end of summer. The park then agreed to abolish segregation before reopening the following year.

Mulholland, then aged 19, had participated in numerous civil rights sit ins, for which she was disowned by her family. In 1963, she was travelling with four other activists in Mississippi when their car was attacked by the KKK, who had orders to kill them, but they managed to escape. Mulholland remains active to this day.

Image from the excellent @ZinnEducationProject